With September 21 fixed as the date to elect the mayor,the countdown has already begun. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has 27 councillors while its partner,the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),has 12,thus giving the alliance a total of 39 members. This gives them an edge to announce their choice for mayor,senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor.
However,Congress councillors,who are only 19 in number,too held a meeting today and claimed that if a secret ballot system is introduced for voting,their party would have an edge over the ruling alliance.
A meeting was held under Congress Observer K P Rana at which the councillors said,We are 19 in number and our three elected MLAs too have the right to vote through secret ballot. So we score 22. In addition to this,there are 17 independent councillors and most of them are in touch with us after the poor show by the ruling alliance.
Congress Councillor Parminder Mehta too claimed that if a secret ballot is introduced,many SAD and even BJP councillors would vote against their party candidate and,hence,a change would be seen.
However,it needs to be mentioned that the SAD-BJP alliance has already given their rights to their party presidents Sukhbir Singh Badal and Ashwini Sharma respectively. It had been ‘directed to them to elect the new mayor just by raising of hands.
Sources revealed that no ruling party councillor would dare to raise their hand in favour of an Opposition candidate and,hence,the Congresss claim of mayor does not seem to be practical as of now. Moreover,none of the independent councillors have formally announced their support to Congress as of now.
The councillors have,however,stated that there are still many committees in the House which include House Tax Committee,Finance Committee,Advertisement Tax Committee,Property Tax Committee etc and hence they will get their share in those so as to keep a check on the alliance.
Pal Singh Grewal and Hakam Singh Giaspura are the front-runners for the post of mayor from the SAD. The elections were held on June 10 and the elected members had to wait for more than three months to get a new House.